That said, there were some interesting responses and I did learn something about watches. It became clear to me that there is actually a difference in quality, that while the “returns” do diminish, there’s a sizable difference in quality between a $500 watch and $5000 watch, even if the differences get subtler and subtler (and less visible). A couple people seemed to think that the big fall off was around $2,500 – that anything above that is largely a matter of perception and branding (except for super luxury hand-crafted watches like Patek Philippe).
This got me thinking that at some point I would like to own a lower end luxury watch or two ($1-3,000). This won’t happen anytime soon, at least if I value my marriage (which I do), but I’m going to gradually educate myself and figure out which I’d eventually like to get. If I was to buy one watch in that range I’d consider a Seiko Prospect Marinemaster or an Omega Seamaster, like this one:
I’m not going to feed this too much as I’m basically happy with lower end watches and don’t want to get all obsessed with a $2,000+ watch, but I would like to get a truly fine timepiece someday. I’m thinking that Omega in particular is a good balance between somewhat affordable and high quality.